May 13, 2015
- I already know what I'm getting some of my faraway family for the holidays this year: seasonal ice creams from Salt & Straw. Most of them live in places where it will be cold outside and cozy inside. It's a tradition at my dad's to get together and buy our favorite ice creams to share at home; a negative-degree night with aggressive windchill factors, a warm blanket, and scoops. (I wanted to say by a fire, but unfortunately Dad has a gas fireplace he doesn't use because it might eventually break. This is the logic.) There are always at least two different flavors depending on who braved the cold to the dairy. Salt & Straw's Seasonal Pints Club comes with five pints of their local, seasonal flavors delivered monthly. I already can't wait to share this goodness.
LA warmly received this Portland native last year when they opened their first shop outside of Portland here. S & S creates ridiculously good ice creams, fostering a symbiotic relationship with local growers and producers.
Salt & Straw has various monthly flavors, themed or often philanthropic. For April they had an April Ice Cream Inventors Menu. To create their April menu, head ice cream maker Tyler Malek taught students at LA's Larchmont Charter School
how to make ice cream, allowing them to create their own dream flavors. Together, they created three flavors served at the Larchmont location through April, with 15% of ice cream proceeds going back to support the school's garden class. This project was started in Portland schools a few years ago.
Now Salt & Straw's Larchmont location is featuring their May Flowers Menu
. Get in there before the end of May for this time-sensitive list and get a flight of four or a freshly made waffle cone filled with your favorite flavors.
Here's the romantic May Flowers Menu S & S shared with us:
Cherimoya Milk Sorbet
"Desire is the other mother of invention. We have been working on this idea for a while - milk sorbet! What would it be like? What could it do? We just wanted to know. The milk sorbet is lighter in flavor and fat, so the flavors we add burst and dissipate more quickly, like firecrackers or pop rocks. But the milk still has body, so there's a sherbety, gelato-ey feel. Marry this with a sweet, floral, creamy cherimoya (aka "custard apple") and this is a unique opportunity to taste something you've never had before. We sourced cherimoyas from Sahu Subtropicals in Rainbow, Calif. Founded in 2009, Sahu is growing berries, avocados, blood oranges, guavas, and other delicious and tropical produce."Rhubarb Crumble with Toasted Anise
"Nostalgia holds hands with the promise of spring. Our grandma's recipe for rhubarb crumble, reinterpreted with all the snap and exuberance of the season's first rhubarb. Cooked slowly in orange juice and cinnamon, with a bit of anise toasted to a dark amber, and folded in with a toothsome, textured crumble, this is our celebratory toast to having made it through another winter. This time of year we love to get up early and forage at the excellent Los Angeles Farmers Market
. The rhubarb is young, tender, and delicious."Wildflower Honey With Ricotta Walnut Lace Cookies
"Honey has seasons, too. It's spring: The flowers are budding, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, and the honey is overflowing with floral deliciousness. Really, it's brazen, in-your-face floral. We fold it into ice cream and it's almost a tea-like steeping effect - a beautiful bloom of honey ice cream. Crumbles of lemony ricotta walnut lace cookies add a little bit of zest and snap and nuttiness to the experience. Massey Honey Co.
, our wonderful family-owned collaborator, is all about the "un." Unprocessed, unfiltered, unheated, and all that other unnecessary un-organic stuff. Their apiaries are located in the LA/Orange County area and their honeys are extracted by hand and simply strained. That's it. Based on the central coast, Rancho La Vina is exactly the kind of grower we love to find. The 2,800-acre ranch has been in the Baer family since the 1860s, and some of the walnut trees are hundreds of years old."Grand Poppy Sorbet With Flowers
"100% pure joy. Is life disappointing you because edible spring flowers are not embedded in all of your favorite foods? Here is your solution: a pale orange, sunshiny sorbet with a pleasant hint of Grand Poppy Organic Liqueur that's chock-full of gorgeous edible spring flowers. This is one of our most difficult ice creams to make because we have to hand-place every flower into the ice cream, but man, is it beautiful: blue and white borage; purple, yellow, and orange violas; and bright pink rose petals decant playfulness and glee into your hopeful heart. Greenbar Craft Distillery
has about a thousand cool stories to tell. They're the first distillery in LA since prohibition; they only use amazing ingredients that are sourced within 100 miles of LA; they plant a tree for every bottle sold. As if that weren't enough, they took it upon themselves to make this incredible aperitif-style Grand Poppy Organic Liqueur with citrus from SoCal, coastal herbs and berries, and, of course, the California poppy."Honey Lavender
"Sometimes you want to eat flowers. If you've ever had a Saint Bernard sort of lean into your person in a protective yet utterly loving way, his deep reserves of beast power evident but undeployed, that's sort of what this lavender ice cream is like - epically strong, but also … courtly. This cult favorite is like nothing else on our menu. We take two pounds of California lavender flowers and steep them in honey and cream, bringing out an incredibly deep, almost smoky lavender color and a skull-thwacking punch of lavender followed by a sweet touch of honey on your tongue. It is our most divisive flavor. Central Coast Lavender Farm and Apothecary
is based in Paso Robles and describes itself as a "modern day" organic lavender farm, distillery, and apothecary. Random Trivia:
"While it's not definitively clear, historians often credit China with the origin of ice cream, which dates all the way back to 200 BC!"